The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued draft guidelines in relation to the prescription of opioids in the treatment of patients. The agency believes that patients are too often being prescribed these painkillers and causing them to become addicted.
The CDC went on to state that such overprescribing of opioids could lead to the institutionalization of malpractice and would be in direct violation of the very tenets of person-centered health care.
Currently there is underway a redefinition and reclassification of various medical conditions that are associated with chronic pain. Some conditions which range of the intensity of pain could hold the potential of that patient needing to be treated for the rest of their life at medication levels that are beyond that which is currently associated with acute pain.
Long term opioid prescriptions may have negative effects on some patients. It is important that physicians make certain that treating a patient’s acute pain does not become chronic pain and turn into a disability for those patients whenever possible.
A review of death and injury that is maintained by the CDC indicates that prescription drug overdose is not even in the top 15 leading causes of death in the U.S. The number of overdoses that occur in the population annually should not be the primary filter through which we consider the needs of persons with chronic pain.
Doctors and patients should discuss any kind of pain therapy, especially those which include opioid medications and go over the risks and limitations, as well as the benefits of such treatment. This should be accompanied with a plan for the physician and patient to moderate the situation. In the draft, the CDC recommends three days or less for prescribed opioids in the case of non-traumatic acute pain. Patients can then be re-evaluated by healthcare providers for longer term prescriptions. These evaluations should include behavioral observations adaptive assessment, and progress toward adaptive functioning with focus on returning the patient to the best level of functionality available, even if a cure is not possible.
For patients dealing with chronic pain, getting relief from that pain and maintaining quality of life is always a concern. It is a delicate balance to know how much medication is called for and how much is too much. Dealing with addiction along with trying to deal with pain management is definitely not a good outcome.
If you or a loved one believes they have suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical negligence due to prescription medications that have been prescribed, contact the law offices of Bottar Leone, PLLC today. We will take the time to carefully evaluate your claim. One of our attorneys can then begin the process of getting you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation and legal analysis.